Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

Jan Rune Holmevik

Committee Member

Joshua Catalano

Committee Member

Bryan Denham

Committee Member

Nathan McNeese


This dissertation details the development of the Data In-Form design method, which integrates information visualization and visualization rhetoric theory into a repeatable process for communicating through visualization. This design method explores how designers can use the Data Exploration, Rhetorical Layering, and Narrative Design processes to create more vivid information visualizations. In addition to providing a theory-driven design method, this dissertation explores the persuasive effects of increasingly vivid presentations of data and information across demographics. This study used a repeated measures design to assess the attitudes of 600 participants before and after being randomly presented with either a data table, data visualization, or information visualization, which were created using the Data In-Form design method. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data.

The findings of the study indicated that the data presentation and education level contributed to the change in participants’ attitudes. Further analysis of the persuasive outcomes revealed that more vivid visualizations are more persuasive amongst those with higher levels of education, while less vivid visualizations are more persuasive amongst those with lower levels of education. The findings represented contrasting persuasive outcomes across education levels when information is presented in more vivid forms. The study's results are useful to practitioners and researchers as the findings reveal how different presentations of data and information persuade people differently depending on their education level.

Available for download on Sunday, December 31, 2023